Despite Issues on Switch, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Otherwise Runs Smooth on PC

Despite Issues on Switch, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Otherwise Runs Smooth on PC

The difference is like night and day. Sunlight and moonlight. Vampires and werewolves.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for the Nintendo Switch made an appearance at PAX East this year, and people were disappointed to discover the game's performance seemingly isn't up to snuff. Here's an interesting twist, though: The latest PC build of the game was also available for the press to check out (and under embargo), and it ran better than the Switch build. Much better.

I played the Switch build of Bloodstained for myself at PAX East and was terribly let-down by bad input lag, dismal frame rates, and frequent slowdown. I later talked to 505 Games and was assured Bloodstained for the Switch will be optimized by the time the game arrives in summer of this year.

Playing the PC demo at the event gave me an idea of how Bloodstained's creator, Koji Igarashi, intends for the game to look and move. Though the Switch build is (currently) a stuttering mess, the PC build offers something closer to the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night experience we're all hoping for.

Whereas Bloodstained's Switch demo put us on a galleon traversing rough seas near the game's opening, the PC demo had us climbing a crumbling tower laced with rusty clockwork gears (of course). In true "IGAvania" fashion, it's not a straight climb to the top: You need to duck into doorways and travel through monster-infested corridors that take you on detours around debris and gaps. Defeating monsters sometimes earns you a "Shard," which infuses you with an enemy skill that you can turn against your foes. Think, like the monster souls Soma can collect in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Turns out I needed every bit of help afforded to me when I reached the boss of the tower, a slavering two-headed dragon with a seemingly infinite pool of hit points.

Unfortunately, I couldn't beat the beast. The 505 representatives showing off the demo said it's possible, but I burned through my store of health potions without much luck. I might've been under-leveled, or the dragon might've had its hit points bumped up to keep us from advancing too far beyond its lofty lair. I'm hoping the final build tightens up the fight, since it was sometimes hard to get a handle on protagonist Miriam's own hit box. Sometimes she just wound up immobile under one of the dragons' heads despite me paying close attention to the monster's cues. That said, it was cool to watch the dragons' heads work in tandem to execute killer attacks. I was also happy to see the demo moved at a stable 60 FPS. If there were frame drops, I didn't notice them.

All along the (haunted) watchtower. | 505 Games

Despite my hard time with Bloodstained's dragon boss, I did enjoy my ascent up the tower. Moving around as Miriam feels good, as does attacking enemies with the armory the demo supplied me with (I wound up favoring a pike) and utilizing enemy skills when things got hairy. Miriam is a bit "floaty," but that's probably by design; she moves a lot like Symphony of the Night's Alucard, and both characters have supernatural qualities to them.

Incidentally, I brought my PS Vita (it still means life to me) to PAX, which is equipped with Symphony of the Night. After a "side-by-side" comparison, I determined Miriam does indeed have a lot in common with the dhampir anti-hero.

I still can't say if Bloodstained will run at a steady 60 FPS on the Switch, or if it'll even manage a consistent 30 FPS. But the PC demo provided me with proof that at least one platform should see a solid successor to Igarashi's Castlevania legacy. We'll see what's what when Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC this summer.

Disclosure: USgamer is a ReedPop company owned and operated in conjunction with PAX.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Bloodstained for Switch Has Problems, but it's Not as Bad as You Might Think

It's not bruised and bloody. It's just a bit stained.

Axe of the Blood God's Visit to Final Fantasy 7's Gold Saucer Ends in Blood and Tears

Only '90s kids remember mass shootings at an amusement park being used as a throwaway story device. Also: Chatter about Slay the Spire, Bloodstained, and a big apology for screwing up the TurboGrafx-16 Console Quest.

Bloodstained Mod Replaces Backer Portraits With Old Kojima Castlevania Artwork

All the backer portraits are gone, except the cat's.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Review

The night begins to shine.

Bloodstained Ritual of the Night Switch - When Does Bloodstained Release for Nintendo Switch?

Here's our guide to the Bloodstained Ritual of the Night Switch release date.

More Opinions

I Love to Hate Luigi Mansion 3's Toilet Rats

When Luigi's Mansion 3 invites you to sit down, you might want to refuse.

Why The Division 2 Is Still Hard to Jump Back Into

With the new Title Update and Episode, The Division 2 should be easier to get into, but it's not.

Starting Screen | Blizzard's Troubled 2019 Finds the Once Invincible Studio at a Crossroads

This past year has found Blizzard embroiled in one controversy after another. What does it say about its future?

"It's Hypocritical for Blizzard to Punish Blitzchung but Not Us"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Activision Blizzard has always been a vigorous advocate for freedom of expression.

More on PC

Destiny: The Taken King Calcified Fragment Locations

Find every Calcified Fragment on the Dreadnaught.

Disco Elysium Review: The Voices in Your Head Are Real, and They'll Get You in Trouble

This unique RPG highlights everything that goes on inside our heads.

Manifold Garden Launches This Friday After Seven Years of Development

The mind-warping puzzler is finally finished.

Blizzard Bans Collegiate Hearthstone Players for Six Months Over Protest Sign [Update]

American University's players have received some late judgment.

PUBG's Next Season Will Have Players Flinging Blades and Pans in a Refreshed Miramar

Season 5 will focus on improving PUBG's second map and adds a number of new features, including the ability to toss items and melee weapons.

Bloodlines 2 Delayed to Avoid the Issues That Plagued the Original

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is still targeted for 2020, but it'll come out later than Hardsuit Labs had initially hoped.

Fortnite XP Guide - How to Earn XP and Increase Your Level

This is our guide to the new Fortnite XP system, and how you can earn XP to increase your overall level.

More Action Adventure Games

I Love to Hate Luigi Mansion 3's Toilet Rats

When Luigi's Mansion 3 invites you to sit down, you might want to refuse.

Starting Screen | A Great Port Is Always Worth the Wait

Whatever time it takes to make a game feel just right on a new system is well-spent.

The Lineup for Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 Includes Sekiro, Final Fantasy 8, and a Destiny 2 Raid

It will no doubt make any future raid time of mine look embarrassing.

Kamala Khan Stretches Her Way Onto the Playable Roster for Marvel's Avengers

Marvel's Ms. Marvel is here to get the Avengers back in action.